Michael en­joys first three years in the area en­gi­neer spot­light

Bray People - - In Profile - Paula BURNS

AF­TER NEARLY three years in the hot seat as area en­gi­neer of Grey­stones, Michael Tins­ley looks back on his post with fond mem­o­ries.

Prior to 2005, the Dublin man had worked with other lo­cal au­thor­i­ties such as Kil­dare County Coun­cil and so en­tered the role with some ex­pe­ri­ence be­hind him.

As area en­gi­neer, the role re­quired Michael to take charge of a large num­ber of de­part­ments that spanned a good part of County Wick­low.

‘Work­ing with lo­cal au­thor­i­ties you usu­ally work in just one depart­ment such as wa­ter but as area en­gi­neer not only was I cov­er­ing a num­ber of de­part­ments but the area of land cov­ered was also much big­ger,’ ex­plained Michael, ‘I wasn’t just cov­er­ing Grey­stones, the area in­cluded Del­gany, Kil­coole, En­niskerry, an area where a lot of the coun­ties pop­u­la­tion live.’

But Michael rose to the chal­lenge and ad­mits that, as a Dub, at the beginning he did have to fa­mil­iarise him­self with the ge­og­ra­phy of Wick­low but within a few months he had ev­ery­thing in hand.

As area en­gi­neer, Michael was aware that the job would come with its crit­i­cisms.

And yes there were the com­plaints yet it is the kind let­ters and emails that he re­ceived dur­ing the three years from res­i­dents in Grey­stones and the sur­round­ing ar­eas that thanked him for the good work done that he re­mem­bers most.

‘Dur­ing my time in Grey­stones we did a lot of work on the paths, widen­ing them and smooth­ing them and quite of­ten I would get a let­ter from a res­i­dent thank­ing me for fix­ing the path out­side their house. It was al­ways great to get those let­ters, they meant that peo­ple no­ticed the hard work done by the town coun­cil,’ said Michael.

It is the work of a great team that Michael at­tributes the achieve­ments made while he was area en­gi­neer.

‘It is a very small of­fice and the of­fice and out­door staff work very well to­gether. I al­ways knew that no mat­ter when I rang the of­fice I would al­ways be able to get some­one at the other end of the phone,’said Michael.

It was dur­ing the re­cent flood­ing in Grey­stones that Michael saw the team re­ally pull to­gether at a time when it was needed the most.

‘It was a Satur­day when the floods hit and the out­door staff were off and a few of them were even on hol­i­days but they came down on their day off and helped out hand­ing out sand­bags etc, so that re­ally shows what a great team I had the plea­sure of work­ing with.’ Very soon into tak­ing the job, Michael be­gan to re­alise that not a sin­gle day as area en­gi­neer is the same.

While he found the job very de­mand­ing and more of­ten than not ex­tremely busy Michael en­joyed the chal­lenge and the out of the or­di­nary roles that he of­ten took on.

On St. Pa­trick’s Day last year Michael found him­self act­ing as a judge at the pa­rade.

A role he that he will never for­get and had a great time do­ing.

Michael was also very proud of help­ing the kids at Co­laiste Chraobh Ab­hann with a Na­tional Roads Au­thor­ity project with which they won a na­tional prize for their en­try.

‘I never thought that as area en­gi­neer I would find my­self do­ing things like judg­ing a pa­rade but I have to say it was great fun and I am very glad to have had those op­por­tu­ni­ties.’

Af­ter al­most three years Michael was of­fered a pro­mo­tion in Wick­low County Coun­cil as Se­nior En­gi­neer in Wa­ter Ser­vices Cap­i­tal Projects Of­fice.

In­cluded in the schemes that Michael has set the ball rolling is the bring­ing of the area sur­round­ing the train sta­tion up to a high stan­dard by putting un­der­ground ca­bling and mak­ing the space more ac­ces­si­ble to pedes­tri­ans.

‘I’m looking for­ward to the work start­ing at the train sta­tion. We had land­scape ar­chi­tects look at the space and work should start next year. I also wish I had had more time to im­prove the con­di­tions of the park there too be­cause it re­ally has a lot of po­ten­tial,’ said Michael.

At last week’s Grey­stones Town Coun­cil meet­ing the mem­bers had a small pre­sen­ta­tion for the man who wasn’t afraid to say no to them. Dur­ing his time Coun­cil mem­bers be­gan to re­alise that Michael would be hon­est and tell them out straight if he couldn’t get the fund­ing for a scheme.

This earned him re­spect but more im­por­tantly as Cllr Kath­leen Kelle­her put it Michael man­aged the pa­per.

In oth­er­words if there wasn’t the money there he seeked the grants to get the fund­ing he could. It was be­cause of this pru­dence that the Grey­stones area ben­e­fited greatly dur­ing his reign as area en­gi­neer.

Grey­stones mayor Ge­orge Jones makes a pre­sen­ta­tion to Town En­gi­neer Michael Tins­ley.

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